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Coronavirus Kent: Police introduce reporting tool for lockdown breaches

Police have introduced a site for Kent residents to report breaches of the coronavirus lockdown measures when they see it.

It comes after yet more people in the county were found to be flouting the rules over a sunny and scorching weekend despite the government, police and councils imploring them to stay inside.

People were seen on the seafront in Hythe at the weekend. Photo: FHDC
People were seen on the seafront in Hythe at the weekend. Photo: FHDC

While the vast majority of residents listened and many places were left completely empty, this was not the case for the entire county.

Folkestone and Hythe District Council was forced to take to Facebook to chastise families travelling to its beaches- including one Bromley family who made a 122-mile round trip.

Similarly, Medway Specials were forced to break up a large gathering, which turned out to be a birthday party visited by people from around the area.

In Herne Bay, an ice cream parlour opened despite heavy criticism following an announcement post on social media.

Now, the new site introduced by police will allow residents to more easily report serious breaches of the lockdown as they see them.

Police have introduced a new page for reporting lockdown breaches
Police have introduced a new page for reporting lockdown breaches

The 'tell us about' page on the Kent Police website asks residents to give an address of where the breach happened or is happening.

Alternatively, anyone using a mobile or device with satellite connection can press 'use current location' if they are at the scene themselves.

The site says that police are looking to issue advice first rather than resorting to fines, and also urges residents to only use the reporting tool for major breaches.

A statement reads: "We're seeking to resolve situations where people appear to be or are contravening the government advice on physical social distancing and the stay at home measures without resorting to enforcement and issuing fines.

"Please only tell us about something if you feel there is a significant issue or breach which you think we need to know about."

People were seen in Mote Park in Maidstone during the sunshine despite the lockdown
People were seen in Mote Park in Maidstone during the sunshine despite the lockdown

Anyone seeking to report a business that is open is asked to double check the guidelines on which stores are allowed to stay open beforehand.

Businesses offering essential goods and services including supermarkets, post offices, newsagents and petrol stations are exempt from closure.

Similarly, many pubs and restaurants are allowed to remain open as takeaway-only options.

To find out more or to report a breach of lockdown measures, visit the Kent Police reporting page here.

Meanwhile, a police chief has revealed that people spitting at emergency workers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could get up to two years in prison under new legislation.

Chief constable Alan Pughsley talking about the new measures

Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: "I'm incredibly disappointed, disgusted and appalled that people in society behave like that to any emergency worker.

"The new legislation allows up to two years in prison for that.

"I hope if people do it they get the full weight of the law and go to jail for up to two years."

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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